Given how Andre Cymone's production really gave her debut album a real kick, including her single "Looking For A New Love," it's no surprise then that she had Cymone produce and help with songwriting on the entirety of her sophomore effort, Larger Than Life, which shifted the danceable R&B, funky bass, and heavy instrumentation that made her big into new jack gear. And her debut single, the bass-heavy "Real Love" with its heavy synth riffs, is an example of that, and is merely not "Looking For A New Love Part II."
Yet, fate has cruel a way of repeating itself. "Real Love" was another #2 pop hit, but an R&B chart-topper. The culprit this time was fellow dancemeister Paula Abdul with "Forever Your Girl." There was no way "Real Love" could've failed to top. Still, another outstanding Watley song. And like "Looking For A New Love," there is an extended version of the single, with the repeated "ohh ohh ahh" refrain, brisk horns, and some excerpts from "New Love" included.
She gets help from Eric B & Rakim on "Friends," on how some people pretend to be friends, and how it's hard to find friends due to jealousy, envy, and the fact that friends often won't tell what they're thinking. As she sings, "Friends will let you down, friends won't be around. You need them most of all friends. Friends are hard to find, friends yours and mine." This #9 danceable pop hit, featuring some old school scratching, really tells it like it is.
Then comes the #4 ballad "Everything" and she doesn't do too bad a job here, on the only song not written by Watley and Cymone. The other ballad she does here, "Only You," has brief keyboards bursts akin to Spandau Ballet's "True" and either ballad would've done great as a single despite her lack of range. No, she's still got a smoky and sexy ambience whenever she sings ballads, and that's good too.
Examples of the energetic higher gear of dance include "What'cha Gonna Do For Me" with its overlapping drum machines, synths, and the shouted "what! what!" before the title is sung. However, the mid-paced ballad "Precious Love" stalled at #87 and given the other songs here, isn't a singleworthy candidate. Why not "Lifestyle," which starts with some slow Giorgio Moroder-like synths before boom!, going into high gear dance with those catchy drums and synths combo? It's a party in full swing, this song. Or why not the equally vivacious "Once You Leave"? "Come Into My Life" with its initial pounding percussion beats and funky bass instrumentation is yet another single candidate.
There are a few filler tracks in the midsection, but it comes back to life beginning with "Something New." Yet the album is more polished and skilled than her debut, and Larger Than Life shows an artist and producer tightening things and ratcheting the dance rhythms to a higher gear while still in the non-techno zone.